The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
It’s rarely a quiet day for the Thursday Murder Club. Shocking news reaches them—an old friend has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.
The gang’s search leads them into the antiques business, where the tricks of the trade are as old as the objects themselves. As they encounter drug dealers, art forgers, and online fraudsters—as well as heartache close to home—Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim have no idea whom to trust.
With the body count rising, the clock ticking down, and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?
Starter Villain by John Scalzi
Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.
Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.
But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.
It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats
Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe
From 1783, when German immigrant John Jacob Astor first arrived in the United States, until 2009, when Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of defrauding his elderly mother, the Astor name occupied a unique place in American society.
The family fortune, first made by a beaver trapping business that grew into an empire, was then amplified by holdings in Manhattan real estate. Over the ensuing generations, Astors ruled Gilded Age New York society and inserted themselves into political and cultural life, but also suffered the most famous loss on the Titanic, one of many shocking and unexpected twists in the family’s story.
In this unconventional, page-turning historical biography, featuring black-and-white and color photographs, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe chronicle the lives of the Astors and explore what the Astor name has come to mean in America—offering a window onto the making of America itself.
The Book of (More) Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
Ross Gay’s essays have been called “exquisite” (Tracy K. Smith), “imperative” (the New York Times Book Review), and “brilliant” (Ada Limón). Now, in this new collection of genre-defying pieces, again written over the course of a year, one of America’s most original voices continues his ongoing investigation of delight.
For Gay, what delights us is what connects us, what gives us meaning, from the joy of hearing a nostalgic song blasting from a passing car to the pleasure of refusing the “ubiquitous, nefarious” scannable QR code menus, from the tiny dog he fell hard for to his mother baking a dozen kinds of cookies for her grandchildren.
As always, Gay revels in the natural world—sweet potatoes being harvested, a hummingbird carousing in the beebalm, a sunflower growing out of a wall around the cemetery, the shared bounty from a neighbor’s fig tree—and the trillion mysterious ways this glorious earth delights us.
For his many fans eagerly awaiting this new volume and for readers who have enjoyed the works of Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Zadie Smith, and Rebecca Solnit, Gay once again offers us “literature that feels as fluent and familiar as a chat with a close friend” (the New York Review of Books). The Book of (More) Delights is a collection to savor and share.
Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison
Nobody has a “normal” family, but Vesper Wright’s is truly…something else. Vesper left home at eighteen and never looked back—mostly because she was told that leaving the staunchly religious community she grew up in meant she couldn’t return. But then an envelope arrives on her doorstep.
Inside is an invitation to the wedding of Vesper’s beloved cousin Rosie. It’s to be hosted at the family farm. Have they made an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t be the first time Vesper’s been given special treatment. Is the invite a sweet gesture? An olive branch? A trap? Doesn’t matter. Something inside her insists she go to the wedding. Even if it means returning to the toxic environment she escaped. Even if it means reuniting with her mother, Constance, a former horror film star and forever ice queen.
When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a terrifying secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her own crisis of faith in this deliciously sinister novel that explores the way family ties can bind us as we struggle to find our place in the world.
Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
January 15, 1978, is a night of promise, excitement, and desire. A serial killer’s murderous spree in the Pacific Northwest couldn’t be further from the minds of the vibrant young women at the top sorority on Florida State University’s campus in Tallahassee.
That night, Pamela Schumacher, president of the sorority, makes the unpopular decision to stay home. Startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she makes the fateful decision to investigate. What she finds outside her bedroom door is a scene of implausible violence—two of her sisters dead; two others, maimed.
On the other side of the country, in Seattle, Tina Cannon has found peace after years of hardship. A chance encounter brings twenty-five-year-old Ruth Wachowsky into her life and they forge an instant connection. But then Ruth goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, the same day as another young woman, surrounded by thousands of beachgoers. Both vanish without a trace. Tina is convinced Ruth was a target of the man the papers refer to as the All-American Sex Killer.
When she learns of the massacre in Tallahassee, Tina is convinced it’s him again. She rushes to Florida, on a collision course with Pamela—and one last impending tragedy.
Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner
Grace Henderson has been a star of the US Women’s National Team for ten years, even though she’s only 26. But when she’s sidelined with an injury, a bold new upstart, Phoebe Matthews, takes her spot. Phoebe is everything Grace isn’t—a gregarious jokester who plays with a joy that Grace lost somewhere along the way. The last thing Grace expects is to become friends with benefits with this class clown she sees as her rival.
Phoebe Matthews has always admired Grace’s skill and was star struck to be training alongside her idol. But she quickly finds herself looking at Grace as more than a mere teammate. After one daring kiss, she’s hooked. Grace is everything she has been waiting to find.
As the World Cup approaches, and Grace works her way back from injury, the women decide to find a way they can play together instead of vying for the same position. Except, when they are off the field, Grace is worried she’s catching feelings while Phoebe thinks they are dating. As the tension between them grows, will both players realize they care more about their relationship than making the roster?
Dark Ride by Lou Berney
Twenty-one-year-old Hardy “Hardly” Reed—good-natured, easygoing, usually stoned—is drifting through life. A minimum-wage scare actor at an amusement park, he avoids unnecessary effort and unrealistic ambitions.
Then one day he notices two children, around six or seven, sitting all alone on a bench. Hardly checks if they’re okay and sees injuries on both children. Someone is hurting these kids.
He reports the incident to Child Protective Service.
That should be the end of it. After all, Hardly’s not even good at looking out for himself so the last thing he wants to do is look out for anyone else. But he’s haunted by the two kids, his heart breaking for them. And the more research he does the less he trusts that Child Protective Services —understaffed and overworked—will do anything about it.
That leaves…Hardly. He is probably the last person you’d ever want to count on. But those two kids have nobody else but him. Hardly has to do what’s right and help them.
Down the Hill: My Descent into the Double Murder in Delphi by Susan Hendricks
On February 13, 2017, two teenage girls—13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German—decided to enjoy a day off from school by exploring the popular hiking trails near the Monon High Bridge just a few minutes’ drive from Libby’s home in Delphi, Indiana. Libby’s sister, Kelsi, dropped the two girls off at the head of the trail and waved to them as they walked down the path, which was the last time they’d ever be seen alive. Less than 24 hours later, their bodies were found on the north bank of Deer Creek, about a mile from where they were last seen. There were few clues and little to go on in terms of physical evidence, except for the visual and audio remnants of a strange encounter the girls had with a stranger just hours before their disappearance, an encounter unsettling enough that Libby had thought to record it on her cellphone as it unfolded. In the years since the murders were first made public, Libby’s audio and video recordings have been released and two very different composite sketches of the suspect have been shown, but local law enforcement remained vague about developments for years—until finally, in October 2022, the long-awaited suspect was arrested and a trial date was set.
Longtime anchor and journalist Susan Hendricks was one of the first reporters to cover the case. A broadcast veteran with decades’ worth of experience under her belt, she was no stranger when it came to sharing the tragedies of the day with viewers. But there was something about this case that rattled her to her core. A year after the murders, Susan went to Delphi to interview the victims’ families for an in-depth special report where Kelsi drove Susan down the same path that she drove her sister down on the last day of her life. Over the years, Susan has built close relationships with family members, and law enforcement officials and armchair detectives alike who are determined to get justice for Abby and Libby.
Leslie F*cking Jones by Leslie Jones
In this audacious memoir, Leslie Jones opens up for the first time about how she faltered and triumphed on the road to success and, in doing so, encourages others to let go of the fear and self-doubt that has holds them back. Leslie F*cking Jones is a love letter to regular people just trying to make it day to day and proof that if you fight for yourself, you can live a bigger life than you ever imagined, and you too can be undeniable.
North Woods by Daniel Mason
When two young lovers abscond from a Puritan colony, little do they know that their humble cabin in the woods will become the home of an extraordinary succession of human and nonhuman characters alike. An English soldier, destined for glory, abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to growing apples. A pair of spinster twins navigate war and famine, envy and desire. A crime reporter unearths an ancient mass grave—only to discover that the earth refuse to give up their secrets. A lovelorn painter, a sinister con man, a stalking panther, a lusty beetle: As the inhabitants confront the wonder and mystery around them, they begin to realize that the dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive.
This magisterial and highly inventive novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Daniel Mason brims with love and madness, humor and hope. Following the cycles of history, nature, and even language, North Woods shows the myriad, magical ways in which we’re connected to our environment, to history, and to one another. It is not just an unforgettable novel about secrets and destinies, but a way of looking at the world that asks the timeless question: How do we live on, even after we’re gone?
Red Rabbit by Alex Grecian
Sadie Grace is wanted for witchcraft, dead (or alive). And every hired gun in Kansas is out to collect the bounty on her head, including bona fide witch hunter Old Tom and his mysterious, mute ward, Rabbit.
On the road to Burden County, they’re joined by two vagabond cowboys with a strong sense of adventure – but no sense of purpose – and a recently widowed schoolteacher with nothing left to lose. As their posse grows, so too does the danger.
Racing along the drought-stricken plains in a stolen red stagecoach, they encounter monsters more wicked than witches lurking along the dusty trail. But the crew is determined to get that bounty, or die trying.
The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan
Surrounded by rural Vermont’s rugged mountains and meandering rivers stands the Maple Sugar Inn. Originally an eighteenth-century farmhouse, it was rescued from its dilapidated state by Hattie and Brent Coleman who lovingly converted it into a boutique hotel. When Brent died suddenly before the inn opened, it was left to Hattie to carry on alone. With log fires, historic charm and even a library with wall to wall books and overstuffed sofas, it is considered the place for a winter getaway and in the weeks approaching the holidays the inn is fully booked.
Everyone thinks she’s living the dream, but unfortunately it was Brent’s dream, not hers. On top of being a mother to their lively four-year-old daughter, Hattie is working eighteen-hour days to keep the inn going, leaving her stressed, miserable and lonely. In the New Year, she’ll be putting the inn on the market and dealing with the guilt about letting Brent down. But in the meantime she has to make it through the festive season.
But when Bella, Claudia and Ellen–lifelong friends who seem to have it all–check in for a girlfriends’ book club holiday, it changes everything. Their deep friendship and a shared love of books has carried them through life’s ups and downs but Alice can see they’re packing major emotional baggage. In the span of a week over the most enchanting time of the year, can these four women come together to improve each other’s lives, and make this the start of a whole new chapter?
The Wren, the Wren by Anne Enright
Nell McDaragh never knew her grandfather, the celebrated Irish poet Phil McDaragh. But his love poems seem to speak directly to her. Restless and wryly self-assured, at twenty-two Nell leaves her mother Carmel’s orderly home to find her own voice as a writer (mostly online, ghost-blogging for an influencer) and to live a poetical life. As she chases obsessive love, damage, and transcendence, in Dublin and beyond, her grandfather’s poetry seems to guide her home.
Nell’s mother, Carmel McDaragh, knows the magic of her Daddo’s poetry too well―the kind of magic that makes women in their nighties slip outside for a kiss and then elope, as her mother Terry had done. In his poems to Carmel, Phil envisions his daughter as a bright-eyed wren ascending in escape from his hand. But it is Phil who departs, abandoning his wife and two young daughters. Carmel struggles to reconcile “the poet” with the father whose desertion scars her life, along with that of her fiercely dutiful sister and their gentle, cancer-ridden mother. To distance herself from this betrayal, Carmel turns inward, raising Nell, her daughter, and one trusted love, alone.
Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome by Aparna Nancherla
Aparna Nancherla is a superstar comedian on the rise—a darling of Netflix and Comedy Central’s comedy special lineups, a headliner at comedy shows and music festivals, a frequenter of late night television and the subject of numerous profiles. She’s also a successful actor who has written a barrage of thoughtful essays published by the likes of the New York Times. If you ask her, though, she’s a total fraud. She’d hate to admit it, but no one does impostor syndrome quite like Aparna Nancherla.
Unreliable Narrator is a collection of essays that uses Aparna’s signature humor to illuminate an interior life, one constantly bossed around by her depression (whom she calls Brenda), laced with anxiety like a horror movie full of jump-scares, and plagued by an unrepenting love-hate relationship with her career as a painfully shy standup comedian. But luckily, crippling self-doubt comes with the gift of keen self-examination. These essays deliver hilarious and incredibly insightful meditations on body image, productivity culture, the ultra-meme-ability of mental health language, and who, exactly, gets to make art “about nothing.” Despite her own arguments to the contrary, UNRELIABLE NARRATOR is undeniable proof that Aparna is a force—as a comedian and author alike—to be reckoned with.
Wandering Through Life: A Memoir by Donna Leon
Following a childhood in the company of her New Jersey family, with frequent visits to her grandfather’s farm and its beloved animals, and summers spent selling homegrown tomatoes by the roadside, Donna Leon got her first taste of the classical music and opera that would enrich her life. She also developed a yen for adventure. In 1976, she made the spontaneous decision to teach English in Iran, before finding herself swept up in the early days of the 1979 Revolution. After teaching stints in China and Saudi Arabia, she finally landed in Venice. Leon vividly animates her decades-long love affair with Italy, from her first magical dinner when serving as a chaperone to a friend, to the hunt for the perfect cappuccino, to the warfare tactics of grandmothers doing their grocery shopping at the Rialto Market.
Some things remain constant throughout the decades: her adoration of opera, especially Handel’s vocal music, and her advocacy for the environment, embodied in her passion for bees—which informs the surprising crux of the Brunetti mystery Earthly Remains. Even as mass tourism takes its toll on the patience of residents, Leon’s passion for Venice remains unchanged: its outrageous beauty and magic still captivate her.
Wellness by Nathan Hill
When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the ’90s, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in Chicago’s thriving underground art scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, Facebook wars, and something called Love Potion Number Nine.
For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to painful childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.